It’s officially the holiday season. This time of year can be stressful with gifting and hosting. It’s hard to find a place that encompasses all holiday items. Because we love shopping local, Salt & Sundry is our go-to spot for any type of gift. With two locations in Logan Circle and Union Market, this shop is a DC classic.
Founder Amanda McClements is passionate about hospitality and knows a thing or two about gifting and hostessing. We caught up with her for our 5 Questions With Series, just in time for us to grab our last minute gifts. Special thanks to Amanda for chatting with us during the busiest time of the year!
1. What is your go-to nail color?
I like extremes: either super dark browns, blacks and grays or very bright whites and light neutrals.
2. Where is your favorite DC destination?
I love starting a hike in Montrose Park then heading down into Dumbarton Oaks. You feel miles away from the city bustle without going far at all.
3. What trend do you love for the coming season?
I remember being teased by my friends for loving tie dye in high school, so I love that it’s having a very chic moment. From the spring runway to home decor, tie dye has never looked so good.
4. Everyday jewelry?
I’m always layering pieces by the designers (many of whom have become friends!) we feature at Salt & Sundry: Mallory Shelter, a DC-based designer; Saint-Clair; Anna Beck; and Marisa Haskell. I love looking down and realizing I know who made every piece I’m wearing.
5. If you could host a dinner party with any 3 people, who would they be?
Can I make my guests do all the work? I’d invite Alice Waters to do the cooking, Mark Ronson to make the playlist and Isabel Allende to get the conversation flowing. Then I’d invite 20 friends to enjoy their talents.
The holiday season is the perfect time to bake! I love nothing more than turning on the Pandora holiday station, opening a bottle of wine and baking with family. Every year, my husband and I host Christmas Eve at our house for friends and the whole family. I have been searching for the perfect dessert recipe to wow our guests.
This year, I can’t wait to get a little more creative with my baking. I recently stumbled upon the most beautiful dessert on Pinterest, my go-to tool. This festive Apple Walnut Tart from Baking A Moment is the perfect way to impress our guests. The intricate presentation incorporates my passion for design with my love of baking. Whether it’s in the shop, at home or entertaining, presentation is very important to me. I can’t wait to try out this recipe for my Christmas Eve gathering. Happy feasting! – Carrie
Photo by Baking A Moment
For the Walnut Crust:
2½ cups walnut pieces (don’t waste your money on halves)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg white
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Custard:
1½ cups milk (I used 1%)
6 egg yolks
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 apples (I used Macoun), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
juice of a lemon
¼ cup apricot jam, warmed (optional)
For the Walnut Crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a food processor or chopper, pulse the walnuts until the are finely chopped, and the pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs.
Place the chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing together with a fork.
Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Bake for 15 minutes.
For the Custard:
Pour the milk into a small pot and place over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the maple syrup, cornstarch, and salt.
Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, while whisking, to warm the eggs.
Place the mixture back into the pot and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a bubble and becomes very thick.
Stir in the vanilla and transfer to a heat safe container. Lay plastic wrap over the surface. Chill for 2 hours.
Assemble the Tart:
Spread the maple custard in the walnut tart shell.
Warm the apple slices in the microwave until pliable.
Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard. Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern, around the first one, building a rose pattern.
Warm the apricot jam, and thin it with lemon juice. Brush this glaze over the apples, for shine and to prevent browning (optional).